Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 3, November

1000 Words Jennifer Bolande
SINCE THE EARLY 1980S, Jennifer Bolande has been making smart, witty, and fresh work that is as inspiring to younger artists as it is difficult to force into the convenient categories the marketplace prefers. Her idiosyncratic sculptures and photographs...
Andre Ethier
Described in the press release accompanying this exhibition as "self-portraits of his own adolescent subconscious," Andre Ethier's new paintings are every inch the exercises in creative onanism that this boldly unfashionable characterization might...
A New Order
IN MOSCOW, ideological struggles take place over cocktails. At one such soiree, I was approached by Olga Sviblova, the grande dame of the Moscow art establishment, curator of the city's Photobiennale and director of its ambitious new Multimedia Art...
Angelo Filomeno
Whether it's a sign of inspiration or of exhaustion, the past decade has witnessed the annexing of various cottage industries by a number of contemporary artists, spawning craft-based practices that are now cottage industries in their own right. Two...
Annette Kisling
Annette Kisling trains her photographic gaze on unspectacular, quotidian surroundings. Often she treats architectural subjects--row houses, housing developments, or allotment gardens--occasionally also taking up other, less clearly definable traces...
A Torrent of Ideas on a Beautiful Day
RYAN GANDER DOESN'T COVER HIS TRACKS. To the contrary, he spins so many dazzlingly interlaced threads that he leaves us nearly lost along an Ariadnean trail run amok. In the following pages, Gander gives us the skeleton key to five new works in progress...
Bay Watch
IN 1968, the New York-based critic P. Adams Sitney--already a preeminent advocate for American avant-garde cinema but not yet the author of the canonical study Visionary Film--published a five--column article in the Village Voice titled "Underground...
Benoit Maire
The Nouvelle Vague: Benoit Maire, who spent some time studying philosophy before striking a path through the meanders of contemporary art, embodies this very French universe--defended body and soul in the 1960s by Godard, Truffaut, Eustache, and Varda--in...
"Between Here and There"
If there is any twentieth-century artist whose work has been so thoroughly carved up through such a wild range of readings that you would think no raw meat was left, it is Marcel Duchamp. But a few years back T. J. Demos, in his book The Exiles of...
Blame That Tune
THE DESIRE TO HOLD ONE'S HEAD HIGH, to determine one's own future: This is the reason so many regimes throughout the twentieth century rose and fell. But to hold one's head high while crisply dressed all in white and wearing a black velveteen pillbox...
Body of Evidence
I paint because I am a dirty woman. (Painting is a messy business.) I paint because I like to be bought and sold. -- Marlene Dumas, "Women and Painting" (1993) MARLENE DUMAS LIKES TO TALK DIRTY. She quips about foreplay with her paintings, muses on...
Camp
EARLY IN JANUARY 2007, the artists Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran hung a battery-powered remote control from a tree across the street from their apartment in Mumbai, along with a sign informing passersby (in Hindi and in English) that this was a...
Character Study
THE HUMAN BODY--that ghost of monumentality and figuration inexorably haunting modernism--is ever present in Michaela Meise's work. Whether, in her numerous films, she takes on the pose of a neoclassical sculpture (as in Etude Carpeaux, 2008) or presents...
Christian Holstad
1 BERNHARD WILLHELM AND JUTTA KRAUS (GRONINGER MUSEUM, THE NETHERLANDS) A ten-year retrospective of these incredibly gifted seers and makers, in which the duo staged some of the most cheerfully perplexing yet oddly pedestrian hybrid sculpture in recent...
Daniel Von Sturmer
On the smooth, gridded surface of a black plastic cutting mat, a tiny drama unfolds. A slender prod, coated in some kind of putty and manipulated by an unseen hand, shoves a little gray ball into the center of the frame. This accomplished, the tool...
David Lieske
Past a dried-up bouquet of flowers at the entrance to the gallery, the first piece to be seen in David Lieske's exhibition "Imperium in Imperio" was a child mannequin standing on a pedestal covered in fabric. If it weren't for his delicate eyelashes,...
Dove Allouche
Black smokers, discovered in 1977, bring the deep ocean floor alive. At the bottom of ocean basins, often near sites of volcanic or tectonic activity, these hydrothermal vents emit geothermally heated seawater. The sulfide-rich water jets create chimneylike...
Eric Fertman
Suggesting a joint venture between Philip Guston and R. Crumb (or, to choose a name less feted in the art world, MAD magazine's Don Martin), Eric Fertman's clubfooted sculptures combine craft with comedy in a style that, while aesthetically endearing,...
Ernesto Neto
BE GENTLE WITH THE EDGES OF THE WORLD read the sign that greeted visitors as they entered Ernesto Neto's recent exhibition, whose subtitle was precisely "The Edges of the World." Several more such signs reminding viewers to be gentle with this or that...
Everything Goes
I SAW ROBERT BREER'S SCULPTURES before I saw his films--nearly ten years ago, when looking at photographs of the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka. Funny things, white fiberglass domes that stood like alien statuary in a monumental drape of fog. Little did...
Francis Alys
A STORY OF DECEPTION, 2003-2006, consists of a painting sliced in half and a film loop of a highway shot from the front of a car. The car straddles a dashed white center-line. In the middle distance, we see the glimmer of an oily mirage hovering above...
Friederike Brandenburg
What remains after humans disappear and nature takes over? The photographs of Friederike Brandenburg take up this question. One of the dozen images in this show (all Untitled, and from the series "Zuruckgelassen" [Left Behind], 2007-), shows a light...
Gert Jan Kocken
Gert Jan Kocken has mostly been associated with his photographic series "Defacing," 2004-2009, a (seemingly) straightforward presentation of mutilated artworks and Bibles that survived a wave of iconoclastic fury in northern Europe in the sixteenth...
Haunted Housing
STARTING IN THE LATE 1980S, New York-based artist Marlene McCarty signaled her rejection of modernist abstraction by heat-transferring onto canvas the freighted verbiage that fueled and undermined struggles for women's and gay rights. With texts such...
"Hearts of Palm"
Night Gallery (hours of operation: 10 PM to 2 AM) is an off-space in East Los Angeles nestled between a taqueria and a beauty salon. Opening last February under the direction of artist Davida Nemeroff, this intimate nocturnal venture appeared as a...
Heinrich Kuhn
Conventional photography did not exist for Heinrich Kuhn, an Austrian who was born in Germany in 1866. His experimentation with photographic technique was allied to an unrestrained and analytic observation of his surrounding reality. Yet Kuhn's work...
House That Roared
OBAYASHI NOBUHIKO'S killer-kitsch thriller House (1977) is a rare example of a movie that has had two entirely distinct lives. * On first release in Japan, it was a big commercial hit for its producer, Toho. It made a rapid transition from B-feature...
Inaki Bonillas
IN 1998, INAKI BONILLAS was a young assistant at a Mexico City photography studio when he began a series of projects that would come to he collectively titled Photographic Works. A dry label, certainly, but that factual tone accurately captures the...
Ivens Machado
MADE IN CHINA, printed on the cardboard boxes used for transporting bicycles Ivens Machado incorporated into his new sculptures (and used as the title of this show), evokes an obvious association: cheap goods mass-produced in the world's most populous...
Jill Magid
In a 2007 work, Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, Jill Magid enacted a performative infiltration into a remote world by cultivating an ambiguous, clandestine relationship based on her fascination with a New York police officer: She persuaded him to train...
John Fahey
The influential output of the self-made, self-taught, and self-mythologizing guitarist and American iconoclast John Fahey has been the subject of fervent interest since his death in 2001. Thanks in part to Thurston Moore (who identified the wayward...
"Joseph Cornell Karen Kilimnik"
"What's the real object of curator Todd Levin's exhibition "Joseph Cornell Karen Kilimnik"? There are no surprises at the level of individual works; the Cornell boxes and collages typify the artist's later, sparer, post-1940s style, while almost all...
Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena
By the time artists approach midcareer we are accustomed to seeing them repeat themselves; the cliches mount up and with the shtick comes a fatal lowering of energy. Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena could easily have gone that way. After all, his impressive...
Lee Bontecou
Lee Bontecou's story is an art-world fairy tale: sudden celebrity followed by withdrawal, even reclusion; then, rediscovery and newfound status. This show retells that narrative with sixteen works owned by the Museum of Modern Art and one loan (all...
Luis Jacob
Long involved with the house music scene, and a founding member of the Anarchist Free University of Toronto, Peruvian-born, Toronto-based Luis Jacob makes art that takes the social body, both individual and collective, as its primary subject. Organized...
Man with a Camera
I FIRST ENCOUNTERED Michel Auder's video work in the early 1980s. The tape that left an indelible impression depicted Auder's daughter Alexandra at age five or thereabouts watching a video of her own birth. Auder was not the first artist to record...
Mark Bradford
THE SOME OF ITS PARTS, 2004, made of billboard paper, acrylic gel medium, and strips of a material that resembles tape, exemplifies Mark Bradford's so-called abstract paintings. Like the thirty-seven other wall pieces in this exhibition, a midcareer...
Mark Di Suvero
Mark di Suvero is one of the great masters of abstract sculpture, and on the basis of the three works recently on display in the Gilbert Court of the Morgan Library and Museum, arguably the greatest. All fashioned from steel, Heraldic Bourgogne, 1995,...
Melvin Edwards
In early September, an op-ed feature in the New York Times described 9/11 as the moment that "saw the innocence of a nation crumble to the ground." Melvin Edwards's sculptures seem to rejoin the flawed irony of that account in mute form, to issue it...
Michael Krebber
Michael Krebber's works--comprising nor only painting but also artist's books, arrangements of readymades, and texts--might be identified as symptoms of a diffidence that is interrupted only temporarily, in order to produce material effects, but without...
Nathan Carter
This was a restrained exhibition. Of course, when speaking of Nathan Carter's willfully eccentric, vibrant sculptures, restrained is a relative term. The flags, legible icons, and letterforms for which he is known, as well as the overt references he...
Nathaniel Robinson
Taking its cue (and deriving its name) from l'heure bleue, that fleeting moment of atmospheric ambivalence at dawn and dusk when daylight has not yet begun (or has just finished) drawing a world of legibility and clear distinction, Nathaniel Robinson's...
Notes to Self
"HOW CAN YOU LIKE THAT SILLY HOMOSEXUAL?" So Helen Vendler sets the scene for her defense of Roland Barthes, six years after his death in 1980, with the question she was asked "by an eminent literary critic in tones of impatience and revulsion,...
Philippe Van Snick
Although providing an overview of Philippe Van Snick's practice, this survey of the Belgian abstractionist's oeuvre at the new and remarkable M-Museum was modest, taking up only five rooms. In the first gallery, one found a reconstruction of Dag//Nacht...
Pipilotti Rist
That the opening of Pipilotti Rist's "Heroes of Birth"--the artist's third solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine--coincided with both fashion week and the ninth anniversary of the events of September 11 is perhaps no more than that: coincidence. But...
Queer Eyes
The little cretin shepardess was now mined for normal love and she ran amok among the oilier freaks, inflaming them. --Jack Smith, "Normal Love," 1963 SOME FEMININE PRODUCTS: Makeup, paint, and brushes, Floggers and Boston creams. Joints. Bananas...
Richard Aldrich
The impact of "Slide Paintings," Richard Aldrich's second solo show at Marc Foxx, was slow and cumulative. The works--covering a scattershot range of abstraction--can be coyly obtuse, nonchalantly restrained, and cagey, but they gradually open up onto...
Ryan Trecartin
The agitated camera work, gaudy palette, complete disavowal of intelligible narrative, emphasis on slippery models or beauty, desire, gender, and sexuality, and strategic use of lo-fi graphics evident in the seven videos on view in Ryan Trecartin's...
Sean Shanahan
For years Scan Shanahan's work has been based on monochrome applications of oil paint on MDF surfaces; its most important characteristics are the color and the format of the support. The color is always the end result of various tones being mixed until...
Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler
Even before looking closely at individual works and their details, visitors to Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler's show "Du kannst die Polizei belugen, abar nicht mich" (You Can Lie to the Police But Not to Me) were conscious of a calculated mixture...
The Discovery of Slowness: T. J. Demos on the Films of Manon De Beor
MANON DE BOER'S 16-MM FILM Dissonant, 2010, begins modestly but invitingly. The first movement of Belgian composer Eugene Ysaye's 1923 Sonata no. 2 for Solo Violin plays over a black screen, the music quoting from Bach's joyous Partita no. 3 in E major,...
Thomas Schutte
FOR THOMAS SCHUTTE, the architectural model functions as a prototype world, one in which ordinary notions of space and scale are subverted and the relationship between signifier and signified is offered up for interpretation. His models--like his sculptures,...
"Transfer"
"Transfer: Arte Urbana e Contemporanea, Transferencias e Transformacoes" (Transfer: Urban and Contemporary Art, Transfers and Transformations) brought Brazilian youth subcultures of street art, underground comics, fanzines, independent music, and skateboarding...
Unbounded Enthusiasms
"TO WHAT EXTENT SHOULD AN ARTIST understand the implications of his or her findings?" This is the cryptic question that Bojan Sarcevic posed to a panel of artists, critics, and curators he'd convened on the occasion of his 2006 two-venue exhibition...
Unknown Quantities
HAVE WE ALREADY FORGOTTEN? On April 20, 2010, a high-pressure methane bubble shot up through the drilling pipe of Deepwater Horizon, an offshore oil rig operated on behalf of British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico. The gas exploded and killed eleven...
Warrington Colescott
Warrington Colescott is a master caricaturist. Together with that of his brother, Robert: (who died last year), Warrington's daily practice of probing, prodding, and reappropriating culture, history, and politics has produced a neatly boundless trove...
Wild Style
JUST WHO MAKES and unmakes our cities? The identities of urban planner and urban designer have become increasingly blurred over the past decade. If the former was traditionally about crafting policy and the latter concerned with macroscale drafting,...
Will Rogan
Will Rogan's first exhibition with Altman Siegel, "Stay Home," presented a loose constellation of objects, including three small sculptures, a spread of six "erased" drawings, a piece comprising two prisms painted half-black and suspended at eye level...